passports needed to drink?!

At lunch today an Italian was told that his Italian drivers license was not sufficient to prove his age to drink.

The (bitchy) server said she needed a US Government ID or a foreign passport for her alcohol age check. She claimed that this is a new law in DC.

DC servers, have you heard of this? Is this right? Is this new?

Back when I waited tables a few years ago I do not remember this rule. If it is the law, what a pain in the ass.

5 Comments so far

  1. Joseph Price (unregistered) on August 26th, 2006 @ 3:14 pm

    This is indeed the law, not a new one, and it’s a reasonable. As a bartender, you’re responsible for knowing all fifty states ID’s and well as US military ID’s. Most bars have a reference book they can use if a bartender comes across an unfamiliar state license.

    All fine and good, but how the hell is a bartender supposed to know what an Italian drivers license looks like? Or a Shri Lankan drivers license?

    If it wasn’t the law, you would see underage drinkers flooding bars wielding fake drivers licenses saying they were from Botswana.

  2. Don (unregistered) on August 26th, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

    That was (and is) the law in Florida when I was a bartender and it was written as such that it didn’t matter if you sawed the person in half and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt they were of age – accepting ‘invalid’ ID (which usually also includes expired licenses/passports) is in itself the crime and subjects the bartender and bar to fines.

  3. Andrew (unregistered) on August 27th, 2006 @ 7:49 am

    I had lost my drivers license soon after starting my Junior year of college. I asked my folks to send my US Passport, so I could partake in my legal right to consume alcoholic beverages.

    Too bad bouncers in the college town I lived in weren’t aware that a US Passport was an even more ‘legal’ document than my drivers license.

  4. wayan (unregistered) on August 27th, 2006 @ 11:56 am

    Ha! I’ve run into this too. I’ve had my passport but not my drivers license, and been told by bouncers that it wasn’t sufficient. Fools didn’t realize that a passport _always_ trumps any other form of identification.

  5. robin (unregistered) on August 27th, 2006 @ 7:13 pm

    If this was a law in North Carolina the bouncers at my college bar hangout didn’t know it. My friend Ranjit, who was born on December 1, was able to start drinking “legally” on January 12 of the year he turned 21 — almost eleven months early — because he used his Indian passport to get into bars, and no one realized that the rest of the world writes dates dd-mm-yyyy, not mm-dd-yyyy.

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